150 New Churches
Today we celebrate a significant milestone for Louisiana Baptists: 150 churches planted since 2010. Our goal is 300 by 2020, so this puts us at the half way mark. Proud of our planters & their families who have risked much for the Gospel in some hard to reach Louisiana communities. Grateful for sponsor / sending churches that have given of themselves to help new works start. Also grateful for Southern Baptist churches who have given generously to the Cooperative Program & state & national mission offerings to help provide resources & training for these 150 church plants. We look forward with great anticipation to the next 150. Join me in praying today for laborers, partners, & planters for the next 150 new churches & beyond!
Here’s a breakdown of the 150 that shows a bit of the impact of church planting in our state:
- The 150 churches were planted in 75 Different Towns or Cities,
- 21 of the 32 Baptist Associations in Louisiana were involved in church planting since 2010.
- Church Plants engaged 13 different people groups in Louisiana since 2010.
- The 150 churches included 31 in North Louisiana (21%) & 119 (79%) in South Louisiana where the majority of population is.
- The 150 church plants include 58 Anglo (39%), 49 African-American (33%), 25 Hispanic (17%), 8 Asian (5%), 10 Multi-Ethnic by design.
- 17 of the 150 (11%) churches planted were Multi-Site Campus Multiplication of other healthy congregations.
- 20 of the 150 (13%) churches planted were RePlants located on Baptist properties that had been or were very near closure.
- 12 of the 150 (8%) closed after 1 year.
- 129 of the 150 (86%) received cooperative funding through the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
- The 150 church plants have baptized at least 2,535 new believers. .
Grateful for the work God is doing through our church plants & our together giving through Cooperative Program & State & National Missions Offerings.
Too Many Churches?
Every now & then, someone comments to me that we are planting too many churches in Louisiana. My answer:
- Church to Population Ratio. South Louisiana is well above national levels of church to population ratio with some communities, like the Lafayette area, near 1 church to every 10,000 residents. Our state goal is to get every association to our state average of 1 church to every 2,850 residents. Many north Louisiana communities are well below that. Church planting helps us close this gap.
- Percentage of the population actually attending churches are sinking across our state. This reflects the fact that many churches are in decline &/or churches are not growing as fast as their populations. Church Planting is needed to help close this gap, create more capacity for evangelism, & reach every people group & population segment in our community.
- 3%. Bill Easum has said that denominations & networks must plant 3% of their total population annually just to keep from being in decline. For us as Louisiana Baptists, with 1,600 churches, that would mean having a goal of 48 new churches each year. At that point our goal of 30 is quite conservative & reflects a priority to reach other areas of our nation with much lower levels of evangelical population.
- Saturating Our Communities with the Gospel. Our Southern Baptist strategy & that of other Evangelical partners, has always been a SATURATION strategy. We’re committed to doing ALL we can to get the gospel to EVERY person in our communities. Church plants are evangelistic by nature & by necessity. Existing churches tend to grow less evangelistic over time. We need church plants in every community to stay on the evangelistic edge & saturate every corner of our state with the Gospel.
Check out these resources to help you get started on your church planting journey:
- Does My Community Need a New Church? The Right Questions & Key Indicators
- 10 Biblical & Practical Ways to Get Involved in Church Planting
- Every Church Can Encourage Church Planting and Multiplication
- Every Church Can Be a Church Planting Partner
- Your Church Can Be a Parent to a New Church or Campus
- 5 Things You MUST Do Before Your Plant a Church